How much longer will Microsoft Windows XP be supported? The official cut-off for Windows XP security updates is set for April 14, 2014. Currently most Windows XP computers are coming in with so many infections that a rebuild of the operating system is recommended a majority of the time. If your XP computer will not successfully check for Windows Updates without getting an error, you’re probably infected to a point that a rebuild is recommended. Rebuild rates are going up due to the additional time needed. Until then, think “Windows 7 is the new Windows XP” – what businesses are using!
Should I upgrade to Windows 8? Many corporations have been rolling out Windows 7 over the past 2 years and I’m encouraging most Windows desktop users to move to Windows 7 while it is still available through the OEM market (Dell, HP, PowerSpec, etc.). There are also great deals available this time of year, just watch what is pre-installed. If you’re intending to use a tablet or Windows Phone, Windows 8 would be fine but a touch screen is highly advised for Windows 8, much like adding a mouse was highly advised when the original graphics environment of Windows arrived.
What is the best way to move to Windows 7? Since most of the hardware has changed a lot since XP was released, many users will want to invest in new hardware and use the Windows Easy Transfer Wizard to move your data and settings from your Windows XP PC to your new Windows 7 PC. Please contact me if you have questions regarding that utility.
What should I do about backups? External hard drives are the most convenient and inexpensive, but tend to stay close to the system which doesn’t help with Fire, Flood, or Theft. If you use external drives, consider getting 2 and alternate one off-site each week. For most people, I’m recommending Carbonite because they forget to backup.
What about on-line backups? Are they worth it? Mozy and Carbonite are 2 options for backing up your data to “the cloud” (the Internet). Carbonite has been recently added as a link from from our homepage to help people find it. They offer the combination of a local hard drive for quick restoration of the operating system and applications, plus the online backup of current data – this is your quickest way back to “up and running.”
Which Internet browser is best? This depends upon whom you talk with. Internet Explorer is what Windows comes with and seems to be the most consistent for being able to update Windows. Firefox has gone through some intense versioning changes (from 3.16 to 25+ in the past 2 years) and has a nice add-in called “AdBlock Plus”. Google Chrome recently received some recognition for its speed and ability to update itself. Last comparison ranking I saw had Firefox and Chrome at 38% each and IE at 18%. I just recommend a backup browser in case your primary browser fails.
How can I see a review or provide a review for various service providers? Two social sites to look at are Yelp (to see reviews for various providers) and Google +1 “Google Plus One” (to give a review of a service provider).
How should I use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and my web page? The best explanation of how to use each of the social sites is to think of your website as your public face. Everything on this site should be professional, business related and to the point.
Facebook is your social outlet for personal items. You can also have a business Facebook account. Be sure to keep these two separate and remember to not post anything you shouldn’t (think of your mom, would she be pleased or offended).
LinkedIn is your professional reference Rolodex. People or customers can comment about you professionally. Manage your profile and link with people you network with.
Twitter is your opportunity to comment and have followers. The goal is to have followers that value your comments and consider you a subject matter expert. Comments are limited to 140 characters per
Key point with social media – manage your time wisely, it can become a time suck. I suggest either before or after your normal business hours, but don’t let it consume your productive hours.
Best new business tool that people don’t know about? Using the camera on your smart phone to document product key, router password, anything you’d have to jot down.